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Feb 25, 2011

Absent senator won’t have same-sex marriage vote counted

ANNAPOLIS — A state senator who was absent for a vote on whether to allow full marriage rights to same-sex couples will not be allowed to record her vote against it. Sen. Joanne Benson, D-Prince George’s, asked for her vote against the bill to be counted during the Senate’s session Friday. She says she missed […]

Feb 24, 2011

Senate adopts same-sex marriage bill

ANNAPOLIS — The state Senate on Thursday night passed legislation that would allow same-sex couples to marry in Maryland. The vote was 25 to 21, with Sen. Joanne C. Benson, D-Prince George’s, not voting. Attention now shifts to the House of Delegates, where the Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing Friday on same-sex […]

Feb 24, 2011

Md. environmental secretary: 2 yrs needed for Marcellus shale study

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland’s environmental secretary says state officials need up to two years to decide whether to approve natural gas drilling in western Maryland’s Marcellus shale deposits. Robert Summers, the state’s acting secretary of the environment, testified Wednesday in Annapolis before state lawmakers in favor of a bill that would impose a drilling moratorium until [&helli[...]

Feb 24, 2011

House panel’s bill would end foreclosure program

WASHINGTON — A House committee plans to write legislation next week ending the Obama administration’s flagship effort for helping struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure and abolishing three other housing assistance programs. At its meeting next Thursday, the highest-profile target of the Republican-run House Financial Services Committee will be the Home Affordable Modification Program. Th[...]

Feb 23, 2011

Obama drops defense of anti-gay marriage law

WASHINGTON — In a major policy reversal, the Obama administration said Wednesday it will no longer defend the constitutionality of a federal law banning recognition of same-sex marriage. Attorney General Eric Holder said President Barack Obama has concluded that the administration cannot defend the federal law that defines marriage as only between a man and […]

Feb 23, 2011

Bill would let ‘green’ utilities install solar

ANNAPOLIS — State lawmakers are considering a proposal designed to spark investment in pricey green energy upgrades to Maryland homes. The bill, HB 658, would allow for the creation of public utilities that could install solar panels, wind turbines and geothermal heating systems for individual houses, blocks or even neighborhoods. Del. Doyle L. Niemann, the […]

Feb 23, 2011

O’Malley proposal builds on effort to create wind market

ANNAPOLIS — Gov. Martin O’Malley has proposed legislation that would allow the state to lure wind turbine manufacturers to Maryland with economic development incentives up to $50 million. The proposal builds on the governor’s effort to create a wind energy market in Maryland. Another set of bills pushed by his office would require utility companies […]

Feb 23, 2011

Md. Senate gives preliminary approval to same-sex marriage bill

ANNAPOLIS — Even as the state Senate resumes debating same-sex marriage after its preliminary approval of a bill on Wednesday, the measure’s opponents are gearing up for a vote in a wider forum. Del. Don H. Dwyer Jr. said enactment of Senate Bill 116 would spur a referendum drive that will put the issue on […]

Feb 22, 2011

Maryland Senate plans to debate gay marriage

ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland Senate plans to begin debating a gay marriage bill and could vote on it next week. Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller said Tuesday that the Senate will begin debating the bill on Wednesday, and it could take all day. Miller says he has asked lawmakers to act “gentlemanlike” and […]

Feb 21, 2011

Juvenile justice parity may be too pricey to pass

ANNAPOLIS — Like most pieces of legislation being debated this session, a bill mandating equivalent treatment for girls in juvenile justice will likely come down to how much it costs the state. The bill, heard in the House Judiciary Committee Thursday and sponsored by Del. Kathleen Dumais, D-Montgomery, calls for girls being treated by the […]

Feb 15, 2011

Battle begins over health care insurance exchange

ANNAPOLIS – Business interests argued Tuesday for a slimmed-down version of a public health care insurance exchange proposed by Gov. Martin O’Malley to bring the state in line with the federal health care overhaul passed last year. “We have an opportunity to connect Marylanders to affordable health care coverage,” Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown said […]

Feb 15, 2011

Collective bargaining bill for Md. health care providers gets hearing

ANNAPOLIS  — A measure backed by Gov. Martin O’Malley to allow independent home health care providers to engage in collective bargaining activities with state agencies is coming before a House committee. The House Appropriations Committee is holding a hearing on the legislation on Tuesday. The bill provides that there may be only one bargaining unit […]

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